9 user 2 critic

Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990)

Dramatization looks at the tumultuous relationship that existed between rock group The Beach Boy's Brian and Dennis Wilson and their father, Murry. It also examines their struggles with drugs and alcohol.


Michael Switzer


Steven Gaines (book), Charles Rosin




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Greenwood ... Dennis Wilson
Greg Kean ... Brian Wilson
Arlen Dean Snyder ... Murry Wilson
Casey Sander ... Mike Love
Bo Foxworth ... Carl Wilson
Linda Dona ... Karen Lamm (as Linda Doná)
Laura Leigh Hughes ... Carole Wilson
Wendy Foxworth ... Marilyn Wilson (as Wendy Kaplan)
Dorothy Dells Dorothy Dells ... Audree Wilson
Andrew Myler Andrew Myler ... Al Jardine
William Jones William Jones ... Bill (as J. Bill Jones)
Billy Vera Billy Vera ... Sal
Robert Lee ... Bruce Johnston (as Robert E. Lee)
Maya Lebenzon Maya Lebenzon ... Crystal
Kelly Bratten Kelly Bratten ... Tinda


This biopic chronicles the continuing saga of the Beach Boys from 1961 to 1985. Mainly focuses on the Beach Boys resident wildman Dennis Wilson and in a slightly less capacity big brother Brian Wilson. Written by Paul Cartwright <cartwrit@vianet.net.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The true-life story of America's premier super-group. See more »


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content and some sexuality

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


A scene of topless women (not seen in the original TV broadcast) was added for the VHS video release. See more »


The film implies that under Murry Wilson's direction, the Beach Boys recorded "Barbara Ann" in a standard session in 1963 or 1964. In reality, the song was recorded "unplugged" in September 1965 after Dean Torrence (of Jan and Dean fame) visited the session for the Beach Boys' Party! album and suggested that they record it. By that time, Murry Wilson had long since been fired as the Beach Boys' manager. See more »


Edited into Cease to Exist (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Almost perfect
18 February 2016 | by nicholls_lesSee all my reviews

I loved this movie and have been trying to find it on DVD as it is one I could watch over and over. The film that captured the essence of the Beach boys and the many changing faces, moods and music of this iconic band.

Bruce Greenwood as Dennis Wilson was really good, but for me Casey Sander as Mike Love stole every scene he featured.

Lot's of Beach Boys hits are captured really well but the film concentrated on the bad times more than the good times, and the Dennis Wilson story is indeed a sad one.

Thoroughly gripping and well made movie.

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Release Date:

29 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heroes and Villains See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Leonard Hill Films See more »
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